Saturday, February 4, 2012

American Idol Back at #1 While Simon Cowell Tries to Fix His X Factor Fail by Replacing Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones

The week that American Idol ended its audition rounds in the city where they found Carrie Underwood, St. Louis, The X Factor x-ed out Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones.

Watching American Idol and seeing it once more at the top of the Nielsen Ratings from the start of Season 11, which is the second season without Simon Cowell, well, it seems rather clear now that that snarky, sort of mean-spirited Brit was not what made American Idol the success that it is.

American Idol viewers did not miss Simon Cowell. And they did not tune in to The X Factor to get to listen to any of that Cowell snark.

American Idol has a lot of things going for it that The X Factor did not. Like an affable, likable, funny host in Ryan Seacrest. The X Factor's Steve Jones seemed to be a humorless drone. And way too earnest

When the American Idol auditions come to a town you know you are in that town, be it St. Louis, Portland, Aspen, Galveston, Savannah, San Diego or Pittsburgh. Usually the town's most iconic image is visible through the window behind Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson.

On The X Factor auditions you saw a glimpse of whatever town they were in and then, for the most part, spent the rest of the show inside of an enclosed space looking at a stage.

American Idol uses a lot of pre-recorded bits, like the background bios of various auditioners. These are quite well done and often have a sort of charm to them. During the audition part, The X Factor did none of that type background, and when they did do so, when it got to the performance shows, the canned bios seemed really cheesy and sort of smarmy.

Speaking of the performance shows, that is where The X Factor really went awry. Way too over the top production numbers. Every bit of electronic flash being way too overused to the point it often seemed like a bad Vegas show run amok.

The X Factor seemed to rush to its conclusion, where American Idol does a slow build to finally picking a winner.

The fact that the winner of The X Factor was Melanie Amaro was just one more added factor of what was wrong.

Not that Melanie Amaro was not a perfectly fine singer. What was wrong was the contrived thing where Simon Cowell booted her and then went on and on about having made the worst mistake of his life. With the mistake being rectified by flying to Melanie's home, where cameras were ready. to tell Melanie he'd made a mistake, and that she was back on the show.

Which she then proceeded to win, in what seemed a few weeks later.

Getting rid of Paula, Nicole and Steve does not seem to fix, to me, what was wrong with The X Factor. I like Paula Abdul. I did not like L.A. Reid. L.A. Reid is not a good TV personality.

Anyway, back to American Idol. I am tone deaf, mostly, but to me, this year, American Idol, via its audition process, seems to have found a lot of potential Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson level talent.

Methinks it is time American Idol produces a male winner who goes on to an Underwood/Clarkson ;level of success.

And FOX needs to just cancel The X Factor.

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